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Cooper boosts parental leave for 56,000 state employees

Travis Fain, WRAL statehouse reporter, & Laura Leslie, WRAL Capitol Bureau chiefMay 23, 2019

Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order Thursday creating a new paid parental leave benefit for most state employees.

Starting Sept. 1, new mothers will get eight weeks paid leave after giving birth with full pay. Fathers and other partners will get four weeks, as will parents who adopt or take in a new foster child.

The benefit kicks in after an employee has been with the state for one year. Before this, state policy required employees to take sick leave or vacation to spend time with a new child, and they could also take up to three months of unpaid leave.

“During this important bonding time, our employees will no longer have to choose between their career and their child,” Cooper said at a ceremony to sign the executive order.

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